The Great Debate: The Sustainability Of SEO

For years, online marketers and SEO skeptics have challenged the sustainability of SEO as a digital marketing practice. Every time a big algorithm hits, a new digital trend emerges like social media or the search landscape begins to shift, there is talk of SEO being doomed to its grave. If the rumors were true, then SEO must be a cat with 9 lives, because it has ‘died’ and come back to life many times. We’re here to clear up any miscommunications, right here, right now. SEO has never died and as long as there are search engines, it never will. Here’s why:

SEO is Adaptable

Good SEO’s know that there will always be a high level of evolution in their strategy. Since search engines are constantly changing, SEO strategies that worked a couple months ago may not be as effective today. Luckily, SEO has room for adaptability. Since search engines are always changing and improving, there will always be opportunities to evolve right along with them, you just have to make sure to keep up!

SEO is Helpful

Who does SEO help? Good SEO helps search engines to more effectively identify what a website is about so they can deliver the best results to their users. This in turn helps searchers, so that they are able to find what they are looking for quickly and conveniently. And of course it helps the websites get in front of their target audience. It’s a win-win situation for everyone, and the search engines know this.

SEO’s Spend Money on PPC

We can preach that SEO is adaptable and helpful all day long, and granted, those are very important factors when looking at its viability; but, at the end of the day, it all comes down to revenue. The search engines have to make money too, otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to continue delivering results. The biggest source of revenue for search engines is in pay per click and display ad networks. You may ask yourself, who buys ad space and bids on keywords? SEO and marketing agencies do. Since SEO companies play such a vital role in the revenue cycle for search engines, they have secured their spot in the digital marketing circle.

The Caveat

Now, notice the mention of good in the above reasons for sustainability. That’s because while SEO as an industry will never die, some companies will. SEO companies who practice ‘black hat’ or shady tactics will most likely fail at some point. While search engines like the help and revenue that good SEO companies provide, their main priority is to provide useful and relevant information to keep their searchers happy. Constant algorithm updates help to flush out spam and black hat tactics to keep results honest. So again, while SEO is sustainable, not all SEO companies are.

While the future for SEO is bright, it requires SEO companies to stay on their toes. Using white hat strategies and staying ahead of the search engines is the best way to help ensure SEO sustainability. As long as good companies have honest methods in place, they will prevail. Sorry skeptics, but SEO is here to stay!

Do you need help with your SEO strategy, or have questions on how to identify a good SEO company? Feel free to contact us!

Submitted by Erica Machin, Titan SEO

Google Has Made It Clear That Mobile Is The Future – Is Your Business Ready?

Mobile search has officially outpaced desktop searches, making the mobile search a market that businesses can’t overlook in 2017.

A little over a decade ago, cell phones were getting smaller.  And at that time, smaller meant better.  Even the 2001 hit movie Zoolander parodied our obsession with looking cool while talking on tiny devices.  Steve Jobs changed that in 2007 with the release of the iPhone.  The first smartphone for the masses instantly changed the way we view phones and their capabilities.  Over the next few years, these computers in our pockets continued to grow in popularity and size.

Today, nearly 7 in 10 American adults carry a smartphone and the percentage is even higher in the youth market.  There are countries in which more citizens own smartphones than PCs.  And all this computing power in such small devices has changed the way we search for and consume information.  We want answers to our questions, big and small, immediately.  On the go.  Right now.  Like, this instant.  So we pull out our phones and start searching.  Google knows this and is beginning to reward companies that know it too.

Mobile searches now outnumber those initiated on desktops and that differential is on the rise.  Despite that, the search giant has always ranked websites based on their desktop versions.  To bring these search results more in line with search habits, Google began testing a mobile-first based ranking in April 2015, based on sites’ mobile friendliness.  Google “crawls” and indexes every page of every site on the internet and ranks them based on a variety of criteria including keywords that appropriately indicate the topic and subject of a page, if there are links to and from it, and now also if the page is easily rendered and viewed on mobile devices.  In this new index, sites that have mobile-optimized pages are positively impacted, and see increased rankings in organic searches over sites that have pages that are not designed for ease of use on smartphones.

In November 2016, Google published information on its own blog indicating that it intends to begin rolling out the new method systematically over the coming months, as it is perfected.  The bottom line is that businesses that want their sites to be served up in organic searches better be mobile-friendly.  It is important to note that sites that do not have a mobile version will be adversely affected in rankings across the board.  Sites without mobile-friendly pages will be served up lower in results, not only on searches done on phones but also in desktop searches.

The bottom line?  Google has made it clear that mobile is the future—is your business ready?